Bible reading for Oct 25 -- 26
Oct 25 -- Daniel 10 and Psalm 119:1-24
Oct 26 -- Daniel 11 and Psalm 119:25-48
"And he said, 'O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.' And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, 'Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.'" (Daniel 10:19)
BEHIND THE SCENES (ch 10). Daniel is not studying the future like a disinterested spectator. These revelations involve the future and welfare of his own people (e.g., 7:25; 8:24-25). He has been praying about these things, and confessing their sins. In this chapter we get a peek into the angelic drama behind the scenes. These chapters of Daniel introduce us to the only two angels named in the Bible -- Gabriel (8:16; 9:21) and Michael (10:13, 21; 12:1). Some Christians may get too carried away by the notion of spiritual warfare (and so engage in unbiblical practices), but some believers ignore this dimension entirely. We are indeed in a battle (Eph 6:10-20; 2 Cor 10:3-6; 11:3; 1 Pet 5:8-9). As evangelist John Blanchard wrote, "For the Christian, this world is an arena, not an armchair." Daniel's main involvement, like ours, was prayer. We pray for understanding, for strength, for discernment. We pray that our spiritual enemies be thwarted and defeated. The battle is the Lord's, but we are very much a part of it, and we need to take the opposition seriously. C. H. Spurgeon observed, "It strikes me that conflict is the principal feature of the Christian life this side of heaven." True.
KINGS, SOUTH AND NORTH (ch 11). Read Constable's notes here on how this chapter came to pass in history. Here's one principle we can apply to ourselves: "He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action" (v 32). The best way to prevent being taken in by deception, flattery, or intimidation in our world is to know God. We need to know his will, his attributes, his saving grace, his purposes, and his promises. The knowledge of God allows us to take a firm stand and gives us the discernment needed to take right action. How much we need godly knowledge, stability, and discernment today!
"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law." (Psalm 119:18)
A HYMN TO GOD'S WORD (Ps 119). We will take several days to read through this psalm, which extols the blessing of God's word (cf Psalm 1). Every eight verses are comprised of couplets beginning with the same Hebrew letter. For example, each verse in vv 1-8 begins with the letter, 'aleph. The first word in the psalm is 'asher, or "blessed".
WORD AND SPIRIT. Verse 18 reminds us that a change must take place in us before we really enjoy divine truth. Under the old covenant all people were obligated to obey God's revealed word, but for most people it did not change their hearts. Hearing was not mixed with faith (Heb 4:2; Rom 10:17). In the new covenant God's word is written not on stone but on human hearts (Jer 31:33; 2 Cor 3:6-8). Throughout the biblical story we see that it is the Holy Spirit who gives life to us that we might perceive, believe, and delight in God's word (Gen 1:2-3; Ezek 37:1-10; Acts 10:42-44). The Holy Spirit opens our heart to receive his word, and as we walk with him he illumines our mind to know and trust the Lord.
THE BEAUTY OF THE LAW. God's verbal revelation to his people is poetically described in this psalm, and varying terms are used, mainly as synonyms. They are God's "words, ways, statutes, precepts, law, rules, testimonies, and commandments." It is not merely God's promises that convey grace and beauty to us, but also his law, which tells us of the beauty of God's good plan for us. God has revealed his mind and heart and will in divine Scripture. As you read verse-by-verse through this psalm ask yourself, "How is God's word described here? What can it do for me? How should I respond to his word?"
Image credit. Torah scroll being read, source unknown. About this newsletter: I'm Sandy Young, and I post three times a week on my Bible reading, following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Subscribe for email at Buttondown.email/Sandy. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. A very helpful resource is the NET Bible with its excellent notes at netbible.org.
Bible reading for Oct 25 -- 26